Often times we go through life just living it as we will live forever. We don’t think about the possibility of death because we are so comfortable with life. We take trips, we create memories, we take pictures and we do all of the things that we want to do simply because we can. But what does a person do that is so busy living that they didn’t realize someone had died? How does one appreciate life when death and grief overcame them before they even knew it?
On October 31st, 2018, I went to the doctor for my regular biweekly check-up. I was 32 weeks pregnant and I was anxious to deliver my daughter and begin life with her. I went to my doctor’s office only to find out that she had no heartbeat. Sadness and depression took over me with a vengeance within moments. I spent that night in the hospital and delivered a beautiful 3lb 2oz baby, 15 ½ long baby girl. We named her Adelyn Rose. Prior to going to the doctor’s office, I noticed that Adelyn was not moving as much or at all really but I chalked it up to me being closer to the end of my pregnancy and figured she was just running out of room. But I was wrong, she was dead, and for how long, I’ll never know.
Often times when we go through things in life we always want an answer why? When our children are crying we ask them why or what happened. When we lose our jobs or our car breaks down we want to know where we went wrong or what steps were missed that caused us to have the mishap. For me, I will never know why God saw fit for my daughter to go. We did test after test and the answer we received is she died without cause. That was very frustrating for me because if I had no one here on earth to blame as to why she died, the only other person I could blame is God. I was very angry with God for a long time because He took away the one person who meant the most to me. I was angry because I knew God, I served God, I was active in my church and I raised my two living girls in church so why me? Why Adelyn? I thought that if this is what God is like, then I want to nothing like Christ. I found myself hating God so much that I stopped going to church, I stopped praying, I stopped caring because if God is a God of love, then why did He choose to hurt me? We don’t intentionally hurt people we love, or so I thought.
Because I was so angry with God, people in church began to become angry with me. They would tell me things like “just pray about it” or “God does everything for a reason”. They were upset that I questioned my faith because I was taught that we are never to question God or doubt his abilities. I would be hit with scriptures like “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you” and was told that my depression was just the devil messing with me. No one understood that instead of scripture, I needed a hug. Instead of being told that my depression wasn’t real and to be more positive, that I just needed to cry and be told that it is okay. No one understood that the reason I was so angry and so quick to pop off was because I just wanted someone to listen to me rather than talk at me.
Depression and anxiety is a topic that is not discussed in the Black community and often times we want to immediately tell people to pray or know that these are spirits and demons and they will go away. But for me, although I do believe that depression does come from a negative source, I also realize that it takes more than prayer to get through it. Sometimes it may take medication, sometimes it may take therapy, sometimes it may take admitting yourself into an institution where you can get the help and support that you need. It has been almost a year since Adelyn died and I don’t know that my emotions have changed too much. There are days when depression hits me harder than others and there are days when I am okay for the moment. I have chosen to forgive God and to learn to love again. I still suffer with depression and anxiety but I attend therapy once a week. Therapy has changed my life and I encourage everyone to attend at least once in their life. Delivering a stillborn child is something that I feel I may never recover from but through hope and prayer, I know that everyday won’t be like “this”. So whatever your “this” is, remember to not be too hard on yourself and to allow yourself to feel whatever it is you need to feel in that moment. It is okay to be depressed, just don’t stay there forever. Don’t allow people to throw a Bible down your throat and tell you how to feel. Lean on those who are there to support you and block out those who want to help but are hurtful. Remember that every story written is a story worth telling and you have a story that can change the world if you let it.
Guest Blogger Bio: Chandria Taylor is a preschool teacher in St. Louis, MO. I am a mom of 2 girls, ages 1 and 3, and to an angel baby Adelyn Rose who was born November 1, 2018. She was due on December 22nd. Follow her on social media: IG: @dria_taylor | FB: @LikeARose-AdelynRose